At Petro Cohen, P.C., we know there are a number of instances where benefits are due to employees who have suffered an injury or illness at the workplace. Workers’ compensation claims are prevalent according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2013 alone, more than three million workplace injuries occurred within the United States, with three in every 100 workers involved in an accident resulting in injury or illness on the job. While each injured employee faces different medical and financial challenges, there are distinct requirements to be met in order to be deemed eligible for workers’ compensation.

Your Employer is Covered

Within the state of New Jersey, all corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, and sole proprietorships that employ at least one worker must carry workers’ compensation insurance or must be approved to self-insure. For most companies, coverage for workers’ compensation is purchased through an insurance provider authorized to sell and manage claims for workers’ compensation in the state of New Jersey. If you have suffered an injury or illness while performing the duties of your employment, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if your employer is covered by the appropriate insurance.

You are an Eligible Employee

In order to be eligible for workers’ compensation insurance in the state of New Jersey, an employer/employee relationship must exist. This means that independent contractors, volunteers, or unpaid interns may not be covered under an employer’s workers’ compensation coverage because they do not meet the definition of an employee. However, in some instances, employers misclassify workers as independent contractors, which could lead to denial of a workers’ compensation claim. An experienced attorney can assist you in appealing a denial or delay in benefits due to this misclassification.

Injury or Illness Must be Work-Related

Employees are only eligible for compensation benefits through workers’ comp insurance when injuries or illnesses are related to employment. Generally, if you are performing a task that directly benefits your employer, whether the activity took place on employer grounds or elsewhere, an injury or illness may be covered under workers’ compensation. While this may seem straightforward, there are numerous instances where the boundaries of what constitutes work-related tasks are blurred.

Special Considerations

Workers who meet the aforementioned requirements may not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits due to the nature of their employment. For instance, domestic workers or those who work from home, agricultural or farm workers, and seasonal workers may not be required to be covered under an employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. Therefore, they do not qualify for benefits after an illness or injury. However, other remedies may be available for workers who fall into exempt categories.

Speak with a NJ Workers’ Comp Attorney Today

If you are questioning whether you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits due to an injury or illness that occurred as the result of your employment, it is necessary to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney sooner rather than later. While each workers’ compensation case varies from employee to employee, there are specific guidelines for when claims may be filed. To help you determine your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits as an employee who has suffered injury or illness while working, contact Petro Cohen, P.C. today.